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Recruiting 2010 - 2006 All-Star Offense
Florida QB Tim Tebow
Florida QB Tim Tebow
Posted Jan 27, 2010

Four years after the 2006 recruiting class, which prospects turned out to be the best of the best? Richard Cirminello goes back to look at which prospects were the stars of the show, and while some were obvious, like Tim Tebow, some came from out of nowhere to become special.

Recruiting 2010 - 2006 All-Class Off.

The Best & Brightest From 2006

By Richard Cirminiello

- 2010 Recruiting - The 5 Star Prospects of 2006 
- 2010 Recruiting - The 2-Star Prospects Who Became 5-Star Players 

- 2010 Recruiting - The 2006 All-Recruiting Class Defense 

*Number in parentheses refers to how many stars player earned from in 2006


QB Tim Tebow, Florida (5) - A generation from now, Tebow will still be cited as one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game, which pretty much says it all. He was a part of two national championship teams, was the first sophomore to ever capture the Heisman, and piled up a mess of records over four years in Gainesville. The face of college football for an amazing three seasons, he wound up accounting for an NCAA-record 145 touchdowns and more than 12,000 total yards.

Honorable Mention: Matthew Stafford, Georgia (5), Jake Locker, Washington (4), Josh Freeman, Kansas State (4), Sam Bradford, Oklahoma (4), Todd Reesing, Kansas (2), Andy Dalton, TCU (2), Colin Kaepernick, Nevada (2), Jerrod Johnson, Texas A&M (4), and Case Keenum, Houston (2)

RB C.J. Spiller, Clemson (5) - One of the best all-purpose backs in college history, Spiller rushed for 3,547 yards, caught 123 passes, and produced touchdowns in five different ways during an electric career. His seven kickoff returns for scores are an NCAA record. After sharing the spotlight with James Davis for three seasons, he had his finest year in 2009, accounting for 21 scores and contending for the Heisman.

RB Toby Gerhart, Stanford (3) - Although it started slowly and was marked by injuries, Gerhart’s career really took off over the last two seasons. A human battering ram and the Heisman runner-up to Mark Ingram in 2009, he followed up his first 1,000-yard season by erupting for 1,871 yards and 28 touchdowns last fall. He was also the driving force in Stanford’s eight-win campaign and return to the postseason.

Honorable Mention: Dexter McCluster, Ole Miss (3), Demarco Murray, Oklahoma (5), Ben Tate, Auburn (4), LeSean McCoy, Pittsburgh (5), Chris Wells, Ohio State (5), Knowshon Moreno, Georgia (4), Anthony Dixon, Mississippi State (4), Evan Royster, Penn State (3), and Damion Fletcher, Southern Miss (2)

WR Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech (2) - Though just two years long, Crabtree still had one of the great careers ever for a receiver. After sitting out his freshman season because of a transcript problem, he erupted on the scene in 2007. An ideal fit for the Tech passing attack, he was named All-American and won the Biletnikoff Award in both seasons, catching 231 passes for 3,127 yards and 41 touchdowns in only 26 games. The tenth overall selection in the 2009 draft, he caught 48 balls in his San Francisco 49er debut.

WR Percy Harvin, Florida (5) - Has there ever been a more electrifying player than Harvin in Gator history? Wes Chandler, possibly? Harvin was a unique weapon for Urban Meyer, rushing and receiving for more than 1,800 yards in his three-year career. As a runner, he averaged almost 10 yards a touch, regularly jetting through defenses on inside handoffs. He’s kept the momentum going with the Minnesota Vikings, earning NFL Rookie of the Year honors in 2009.

Honorable Mention: Hakeem Nicks, North Carolina (4), Damian Williams, USC (4), Kenny Britt, Rutgers (3), Jeremy Maclin, Missouri(3), Demaryius Thomas, Georgia Tech (3), Danario Alexander, Missouri (2), Shay Hodge, Ole Miss (2), and Naaman Roosevelt, Buffalo (2)

TE Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma (4) - Gresham lost an opportunity to solidify this spot by missing all of 2009 with an ACL injury. Still, no tight end from the 2006 class had a better college career. And it wasn’t even that close. A unique downfield weapon at 6-6 and 260 pounds, he caught 111 passes for 1,629 yards and 26 touchdowns in his first three years, earning All-America recognition in 2008.

Honorable Mention: Anthony McCoy, USC (4), Nate Byham, Pittsburgh (5), Andrew Quarless, Penn State (4), Mike McNeill, Nebraska (3), Jeron Mastrud, Kansas State (2), Michael Palmer, Clemson (2), and Cody Slate, Marshall (2)

OL Andre Smith, Alabama (5) - Wasting no time validating his lofty ranking, Smith started 13 games as a true freshman, becoming just the fourth Tide rookie to ever do so. He kept getting better with each passing season, earning All-SEC honors in 2007 and 2008, and an All-American nod in his final year. An early entry in the 2009 NFL Draft, he was taken No. 6 overall by the Cincinnati Bengals, who feel they have a pillar at one tackle spot for the next decade.

OL Trent Williams, Oklahoma (3) - A starter since the middle of his true freshman season, Williams has been one of the unsung heroes of the high-powered Sooner offense. At 6-5 and 320 pounds, he’s a prototypical NFL pass blocker, with a first round grade for April’s draft. A two-time selection on the All-Big 12 first team, he added All-America honors to the resume last season.

OL Russell Okung, Oklahoma State (4) - You’ll get arguments from Andre Smith supporters, but Okung ended up being the most complete offensive line out of the 2006 class. Dominant as both a run and pass blocker, he was named first team All-American in each of the last two seasons and was a finalist for the 2009 Outland Trophy. He won’t have to wait very long to hear his name called in April’s NFL Draft.

OL John Jerry, Ole Miss (4) - A brick wall for the Rebels since arriving from South Panola (Miss.) High School, Jerry was an All-SEC tackle in each of the last two seasons. At 6-6 and 335 pounds, he was able to maul opposing linemen, yet was enough to seal off hard-charging edge rushers as well. One of the premier blockers eligible for the upcoming draft, he’s hoping to use the next two months of testing to rise as high as the second round.

OL Justin Boren, Ohio State (5) - The rare Wolverine to finish his career in Columbus, of all places, Boren has earned All-Big Ten honors for both Michigan and Ohio State. That has to be a first. He could wind up being an all-time fan favorite Buckeye, parting with the enemy and bad-mouthing Rich Rodriguez’s staff on the way out. He’s also a pretty nasty blocker, who’ll play on Sundays following the 2010 season.

Honorable Mention: Sam Young, Notre Dame (5), Bruce Campbell, Maryland (4), Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin (3), Nate Potter, Boise State (2), Jason Pinkston, Pittsburgh (4), Jon Asamoah, Illinois (2), Marshall Newhouse, TCU (2), and Jeff Otah, Pittsburgh (4)

- 2010 Recruiting - The 2006 All-Recruiting Class Defense